Remember earlier in this week, when I ran the video of Seth Dillon of Babylon Bee echoing my complaint that when the world is insane, satire is impossible?
I had one of those moments at something like 2AM, when the cat woke me up and I checked thje news.
I read a news story that I thought was either a weird dream at best, or a not-especially-deft bit of satire by some Babylon Bee knockoff at worst. I went back to bed.
And woke up to find it was neither:
Victoria’s Secret is replacing its supermodel angels with seven high-profile women known for their accomplishments rather than their figures in its evolving brand to help “inspire women.”
The lingerie company announced on Wednesday that its new VS Collective campaign aims to “positively impact the lives of women” with its products, experiences and initiatives.
The campaign also includes new partnerships with professional soccer player Megan Rapinoe, actor and producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas, world champion free skier Eileen Gu, model, refugee and mental wellness supporter Adut Akech, body advocate and model Paloma Elsesser, journalist Amanda de Cadenet and LGBTQIA+ activist Valentina Sampaio.
Look – I kind of got Viotoria’s Secret’s 2019 decision to ditch the “Angels” and their annual cheeseca; not being a marketer, I’m not sure what the net pros and cons of “pelting your target demographic with images of women that were mostly fantasy objects for men” versus “selling the idea that you kind of are that fantasy, for that special someone, if you buy our unmentionables”.
I suppose it’d be more or less like having Wilt Chamberlain endorse an Erectils Dysfunction remedy; half of the audience might think “THAT’LL HELP ME BANG 20,000 WOMEN TOO!”, and the other half could get…inteimidated?
I guess I’ll let the marketeers market.
So while I can intellectually understand the idea that Victoria’s Secret might shy away from their harem of supermodel “Angels” (complete with some of the more Hefner-y aspects of that image), and simultaneously the idea of feminists wanting companies to use more examples of female empowerment in marketing…
…I guess I’m struggling to see where or why a business and industry that produces lingerie, a milieu which ostensibly exists to make women feel sexy for their significant others, sees itself as a vehicle for that sort of empowerment.
Especially given the role models they’ve selected. The linked article lists :
…actor and producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas, world champion free skier Eileen Gu, model, refugee and mental wellness supporter Adut Akech, body advocate and model Paloma Elsesser, journalist Amanda de Cadenet and LGBTQIA+ activist Valentina Sampaio
…most of whom fit fairly squarely into the modern current western notion of “beauty”…
…and probably the most “controversial” of the picks…
…Megan Rapinoe, a woman whose entire claim to fame is successfully chasing a ball around a field and stridently proclaiming the dominant social narrative on cue in front of cameras, and who also matches the current western notion of beauty, if you have a secret thing for Reinhard Heydrich.
Beiing neither a lingerie buyer, a second-wave feminist nor a Heydrophile, I am probably not the one to comment.
I’m still trying to figure out if Victoria’s Secret, the brand, is…:
- terminally beset by executives under the spell of “woke” culture
- trying to “shock” its way out of a market doldrum
Either way, I think I’m gonna buy stock in whatever VS’s more traditional competitors might be. It just seems…market-prudent.